Council acknowledges Chatteris tree needs emergency work - but only after branch falls off and lands on neighbour’s roof

Chatteris tree

Chatteris tree - Credit: Archant

A council finally allowed a resident to have work done on a tree he has claimed for years is a danger to pedestrians ... after a branch fell off and went through his neighbour’s roof.

After reporting the incident, Mick Lee, of Ash Grove, in Chatteris, was given permission for a 30 per cent crown reduction of the sycamore tree, which is protected by a Tree Protection Order (TPO).

Over the past year, the tree was inspected by several specialists and samples sent off to the Forestry Commission. Their findings confirmed Mr Lee’s fears that the tree was riddled with fungus and needed to be cut down.

However, Fenland District Council officers rejected his initial application to have the tree felled in November, and also dismissed his appeal, on the grounds it was an “attractive specimen” and in “as good as reasonably might be expected” condition.

Mr Lee said: “Anybody who knew anything about trees and had a look at it said there was something wrong with it.

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“Five branches have fallen off it - one branch landed on my neighbour’s roof. That’s when they said we could do a 30 per cent emergency felling.

“I was concerned because the tree is only two and a half metres from the public footpath and the main road which is the main access path and road to the school with young children and mothers passing several times a day. Someone could have got seriously hurt. I think it’s OK now.

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“I know I’ve done everything I could have to get it dealt with.”

The officers report, for the failed appeal, said: “The sycamore is an attractive specimen that affords a significant degree of public amenity and we consider its loss would have a detrimental impact on the character and appearance of the surrounding area.

“Overall, the sycamore’s physiological condition is as good as might be expected. Whilst there is some minor dieback present, the tree did not appear to be in overall decline.

“On the basis of the information submitted with the application and my visual inspection of the sycamore, I do not consider that its removal is currently warranted on the ground of its condition.”

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